ARGYLE, N.Y. -- Firefighters returned to the scene of what began as a brush fire on Sunday in the Washington County village of Argyle.
Crews were called off the scene after dark Sunday night, once they had contained the fire to a stockpile of used tires on a property at the intersection of Route 197 and Route 44.
A spokesperson from the Argyle Fire Department said the high winds helped spread the fire from brush in a nearby field to a collection of tires, which remained ablaze through the evening hours. He said they had developed a plan to return to the scene, where the flames were contaiOfficials estimate that this could take up to two or three more hours to complete.
Four fire departments gathered at the J.A. Barkley Hose Co. No. 1 Inc. Argyle Fire Department at 11 a.m. Monday.ned, but still burning Monday morning, in a joint effort to extinguish it in its entirety.
After investigating Fire Officials say that the fire was sparked by an unattended camp fire.
"Campfire had been left unattended not properly extinguished," said Washington County Director of Public Safety, William Cook.
The damage could still be seen Monday as firefighters continued to put out hot spots from perhaps the most powerful force that kept the brush fire going for hours.
"There's probably thousands of tires in piles. Individual piles. Several of those piles were on fire. They burn hot. They burn fast. They create an awful lot of smoke and they're very difficult to extinguish," said Cook.
Fire crews from four different departments were called to help finish up work this afternoon.
"A lot of man power. A lot of water and just trying to stay above it. Stay alert," said Cook.
Fire Officials say those involved with the camp fire were issued tickets by New York State Forest Rangers.
The Department of Environmental Conservation employees have issued the following public safety warning:
The Argyle Fire Department and other fire agencies and personnel, in addition to the New York State Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation officials are on the scene still managing the situation. The debris fire is causing a heavy smoke condition in the area, which is expected to continue throughout the night and into the day tomorrow. The areas expected to experience the heaviest smoke conditions are as follows:
• Residences from the intersection of State Route 197 and Durkeetown Road (on State Route 197) up to number 870 State Route 197.
• Residences from the intersection of Hinds Road and State Route 197 (on Hinds Road) to Butch Hill Way.
• Residences on County Route 44 from State Route 197 to County Route 43.
• Residences on County Route 43 from County Route 44 to Hidden Valley Lane.
Residents should take notice that the smoke may contain odors and harmful or toxic contaminants from burning tires and other debris. No evacuations of the affected areas are being ordered at this time. If residents in the areas of the smoke condition wish to temporarily relocate and do not have alternate means of shelter, may contact the Argyle Fire Department at (518)638-8055.
Any non-emergency inquiries or questions can be directed to the Argyle Fire Department at (518)638-8055. For any emergency related calls in regards to the above conditions /area, residents should call 911 immediately.
Additionally, a reverse emergency notification message is being deployed to residences / businesses within the prescribed areas with landline or registered cellular phones.
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